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date: 11 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Conscious thought has been neglected, but it has not been entirely overlooked. Discussion of the topic has focused on three sets of questions. The first set of questions focuses on the kinds of states (events, episodes) that qualify as forms of conscious thought. What might a taxonomy of conscious thought look like? A second set of questions concerns the kind(s) of consciousness that characterizes thought. Are thoughts conscious in the same fundamental way that other mental phenomena are, or is ‘cognitive consciousness’—that is, the consciousness associated with thought—sui generis? A third set of questions concerns the relationship between consciousness and thought. Is consciousness essential to thought, or is it an accidental and contingent feature of thought—a feature that some thoughts possess but others lack? This chapter provides an opinionated point of entry into these and other questions.

Keywords: Thought, phenomenal consciousness, cognitive phenomenology, phenomenal contrast arguments, inner speech, self-knowledge

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